Thursday 23 November 2017

Former garda is jailed for defiling boy in graveyard

Former garda Damien Jermyn pleaded guilty to the charges.
Former garda Damien Jermyn pleaded guilty to the charges.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A FORMER garda who had oral sex with a teenage boy in a graveyard has been jailed.

Damien Jermyn (30), who was formerly based at Killarney garda station, pleaded guilty to two charges involving the defilement of a child. Jermyn first came into contact with the then 16-year-old via a gay website.

It is the fourth time that an officer has been jailed on foot of a Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) probe.

GSOC official, Nicholas Hardem, said it received a formal complaint that a garda was involved in a sexual relationship with an underage boy.

Jermyn, who is gay and was a serving officer for eight years, was immediately suspended. During the course of the investigation, Jermyn later resigned.

The former garda referred to himself on the website as 'Kerry Dude'. The teenager referred to himself online as 'Sexy Cork Boy'.

More than 700 texts were exchanged between the pair. On two of their meetings, Jermyn had oral sex with the teen.

The court was told that Jermyn was not aware on the first occasion he met the youngster that he was underage.

However, Mr Hardem said that on the second occasion they met up, the defendant knew that the teen was aged under 17.

The court was told that Jermyn provided the teen with alcopop drinks.

Jermyn admitted the offences against the 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Jermyn, of Main Street, Bantry, Co Cork, had pleaded guilty to both defilement charges on the first occasion they came before Cork Circuit Criminal Court last April.

REMORSE

Defence counsel Tom Creed said Jermyn deeply regretted what happened.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain acknowledged Jermyn's plea, his remorse and his co-operation with investigating gardai as well as the loss of his career.

"But I cannot for a moment lose sight of the enormous breach of trust," he said.

The judge jailed Jermyn for two years, with 12 months suspended, and also listed him on the Sex Offenders' Register.

Irish Independent

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